Listen Up December! 10 Live Music Shows In Memphis

Posted by Holly Whitfield | November 30th 2017 746 0

Ed. Note: Here’s your monthly guide to live music in Memphis. Contributor Baylee Less is back with another handy list for December 2017.


Celebrate the holidays with local and international artists sharing their music with Memphis this month. The music will keep you warmer than your couch-side fire.

1. Janet Jackson, Fedex Forum, Wednesday December 6th, $17 – $170, show at 8 p.m., all ages

There’s no need to “Scream” – Janet Jackson added a Memphis date to her gargantuan North American 2017 tour. Although she’s not calling it a comeback, this 80’s pop star is sure to play past hits and throw in a few performance surprises.

2. Pokey LaFarge, 1884 Lounge at Minglewood Hall, Friday December 8th, $15 – $17, show at 8 p.m., 18 and over

Born Andrew Heissler in quiet Bloomington, Illinois, this now larger than life Americana singer-songwriter goes by the quirky nickname Pokey LaFarge. His style fits the Memphis heritage with flairs of blues, folk, country, and even swing making their way into his melodies. “Silent Movie” is my favorite track from his new album Manic Revelations because it fuses nostalgic feelings with a modern high-energy.

3. The Music of Nina Simone, Crosstown Arts, Saturday December 9th, $15, show at 7 p.m., all ages

Photo via Crosstown Arts

As a part of the Crosstown Jazz Series, some of our local talent will salute the iconic vocalist Nina Simone. The series is presented by Strictly Jazz Entertainment in collaboration with Crosstown Arts in an effort to honor classic jazz legends with vibrant performances by modern musicians. You will undoubtedly leave “Feeling Good.” The performance features Michaelyn Oby (vocalist, pictured above), Alvie Givhan (piano), Sylvester Sample (acoustic bass), Michael Oby (saxophone), and Nygel Yancey (drums).

4. Kamasi Washington, New Daisy Theater, Monday December 11th, $28 – $95, show at 8 p.m., all ages

Kamasi Washington gained critical and international fame with his 2015 debut three-part studio album The Epic. His live performances are where is music truly comes alive with improvisational switches, a 10-piece band, and flavors from R&B to classical; Washington’s musical concoctions will appeal to almost anyone including jam band followers, jazz lovers, and soul fans.

5. The Band CAMINO with Jet Black Alley Cat, Hardcastle, and Brother Moses, 1884 Lounge at Minglewood Hall, Saturday December 16th, $12, show at 8:45 p.m., all ages

Photo by Adrian Berryhill

Get your indie rock juices flowing with some of the Mid-South’s best rising bands including Memphis’s own The Band CAMINO. Throughout the night the four bands on the bill will deliver swift rock ditties that could be punky, alternative-leaning, or electro-infused. It’s a night full of rock served up several different ways.

6. Kyndle & Adam, Lafayette’s Music Room, Tuesday December 19th, free, show at 5:30 p.m., all ages

Join local singer-songwriter duo Kyndle & Adam for a night of stripped back covers and originals. Lafayette’s laid back atmosphere will only enhance Kyndle’s silky voice and Adam’s strummy accompaniment.

7. Indie Memphis Presents: Acoustic Sunday Live!, Halloran Centre, Sunday December 17th, $39 – $100, show at 7 p.m., all ages

This special benefit night hosted by and for Indie Memphis will include songwriters Gretchen Peters, Kathy Mattea, and Mary Gauthier, along with GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Recipient Tom Paxton with the Don Juans. All these folk artists will bewitch your ears with their sincerity and enchanting live performances.

8. LeMoyne Owen College Presents “A Soulful Holiday Evening” featuring Cameo and Chante’ Moore, The Orpheum Theater, Thursday December 21st, $28 – $60 show at 7 p.m., all ages

Head to the Orpheum Theater to catch 70’s Urban Hip-Hop group CAMEO and R&B heiress Chante Moore. You’ll be groovin’ to CAMEO’s funky hit “Word Up” and drifting along to Moore’s smooth vocals all while supporting the United Negro College Fund and scholarships for aspiring college graduates.

9. 21 Savage, Minglewood Hall, Friday December 22nd, $45 – $150, show at 9 p.m., all ages

21 Savage snagged a date at Minglewood Hall and he’ll want you to clear out your “Bank Account” in celebration of this show. The Atlanta rapper made major waves this year with his ISSA album, and now he’s bringing his star-quality to the Bluff City.

10. New Year’s Eve with Southern Avenue, Sunday December 31st, $20 – $75, show at 9 p.m., 21 and over

Ring in 2018 with the blues-infused rock sounds of Southern Avenue soundtracking your New Years Eve. The STAX Academy Alumni Band and special guest DJ’s will also perform, and your ticket includes a glass of bubbly.


About The Author
A born and raised Memphian, Baylee Less recently returned to her roots after her four-year hiatus at the University of Maryland. A contributor to ILoveMemphis and Memphis Travel, she is excited to share the reasons she’s always loved Memphis. She enjoys live music, Asian food, and being outdoors. Follow @bayleeless on Twitter for updates about being vegan in the land of barbecue.

If you want to be featured in January 2018’s Listen Up, please email hollywhitfield@memphistravel.com with the subject line Listen Up January.


Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

Leave a Comment